Determining Whether Asian Development Bank is a Learning Organization

Current research study is focused on investigating if Asian Development Bank is a learning organization. The study has used exploratory research techniques to successfully achieve the objectives of this study.

The understanding of the overall mean values showed that most of the respondents gave a positive response of all three variables which means that ADB is a learning organization where learning is supported at individual, group or team and overall organization level as well. Learning is supported and encouraged in the organization which has enabled employees to increase their skills and abilities to innovative levels by supporting team work and organizational effectiveness throughout the organization.

The findings of this study not only provided key learning factors to be addressed and investigated but it paved way for other similar organization to acclimate its techniques for training employees with new insight and learning skills of employees are improved.

After data analysis the values show that employees were also agree and satisfied with team level learning as teams supports every team members by mutual respect and mutual information and views sharing, the sharing and collection of information first and then focus on a decision is what made employees to be more satisfied with team level learning. This research project also studied learning at the organizational level and it indicates that employees were satisfied with overall organization learning.

1.1: Background of the project:

An organization is considered as Learning Organization (LO)when it provides learning facilities to its stakeholders and also upgrade itself continuously. Such organization learns and encourages learning among its people, they promotes exchange of information between employees hence creating a more knowledgeable workforce. This produces a very flexible organization where people will accept and adapt to new ideas and changes through a shared vision.

In LOs A Supportive Learning Environment is provided where employees feel safe while disagreeing with others, asking naïve questions, owning up to mistakes, and presenting minority’s view point. LOs, recognize and welcome the opposing ideas, take risks, explore the unknowns, and take time to review organizational processes. Such organization have Concrete Learning Processes which generally include (a) formal processes for generating, collecting, interpreting, and disseminating information; (b) experiments with innovative offerings; (c) gathering intelligence on competitors, customers, and technological trends; (d) identifying and solving problems; (e) developing employees’ skills. In LOs, Leadership Reinforces Learning by (a) demonstrating willingness to entertain alternate viewpoints; (b) recognizing the importance of spending time of problem identification, knowledge transfer, and reflection; and (c) engaging in active questioning and listening.

LOs produce effective and efficient results to achieve organization’s mission by providing opportunities and support to their people at all levels to continuously develop their capacity.

Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a multilateral public, non-profit institution which was founded in 1966 by 31 countries together. The ADB’s vision is An Asia and Pacific region free of poverty (vision) by helping Asia and Pacific countries to reduce poverty, and improve quality of life (mission). To achieve this goal, ADB is dedicated to improving the living conditions and quality of life for people in the developing member nations.

In this study, It will be determined whether ADB has established itself as a Learning Organization over a period of almost 46 years since it is founded?

ADB was established in 1966 with 41 founding member’s countries which are now grown up to 67 member countries in 2012 with more than 2900 human resources. ADB in now among the most respected multilateral institutions in the world, and providing finance and advice for development solutions to the world. It provides loans, technical assistance, grants, guarantees, equity investments, and policy dialogue to support sustainable and equitable growth. ADB is used to offer a menu of innovative financing options to its client. By considering all these aspects, I have selected ADB for this study; If we will find ADB as LO then we will determine that what are the benefits to ADB being a LO.

Organizational learning is considered to be one of the fundamental sources of competitive advantage within the context of strategic management. Theorists argue that in volatile environment the capacity to learn faster then competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage (De Geus, 1998, Stata, 1989).  As innovation change and organizational renewal become more critical bases of competitive advantage, dynamic capabilities are likely to be seen as more important proprietary resource that sustain a given position (Hedlun, 1994)

Research on organizational learning has been going on for over 30 to 40 years now and has recently seen exponential growth (Crossan and Guatto, 1996; Cohen and Sproul 1996; Easterby Smith 1997) and the last assumption is that the learning process has identifiable stages.  Several authors have studied the process of organizational learning in order to define its dimensions (Huber, 1991;Day, 1994; Nevis).

For over thirty years, research on organizational learning has contributed significantly to the development organizational theory and the change in strategic management. Moreover, this research has increased very rapidly in the last years. The contributions of the resource-based view of the firm and the approach based on knowledge management suggest that competitive advantage come as a result of the abilities and capabilities of the company.

Thus, learning   becomes a fundamental strategic aspect. But in spite of the increasing interest in this subject,  consensus on basic matters and concepts has not yet been reached. This is due to the fact that this subject has been studied by several disciplines and from different approaches.

Considering overall mean figure of individual level 4.020833333 this level portrays that employees have selected agree option for queries related to individual level. At the ADB mistakes when committed are openly discussed so that employees can learn from them also several skills are identified for future tasks people in the organization help each other for effective learning.

The organization provides resources to individual to support learning all problems arising are seen as a learning opportunity and often individuals are rewarded upon learning. Feedback given is honest and open and all views are listened carefully before speaking employees are encouraged to ask questions regardless of rank in fact others views are also heard after one individual state their view. At ABD the people respect each other and more time is spent in building trust amongst each other.

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